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Fil-Am rap artist wins Vilcek Prize

Ibarra receives $50,000 as the winner of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, which recognize immigrant professionals who have created a novel innovation or made a significant contribution to their respective fields.

The Vilcek Foundation has selected Ruby Ibarra, a biotech scientist turned rap artist and music producer of Filipino American descent, as one of the recipients of the 2023 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music. Ibarra is of Filipino American heritage.

The Vilcek Foundation was established in the year 2000 with the dual goals of promoting an appreciation for the arts and sciences as well as increasing awareness of the contributions that immigrants have made to the United States.

Ibarra was given the Vilcek Prize “for her hip-hop and spoken word performances that centre her experience as a Filipina American woman, and for her powerful lyrics that address colonialism, immigration, colorism, and misogyny.” Ibarra was born in Tacloban City in the Philippines, but she was raised in the Bay Area.

Immigrant professionals whose early-career work demonstrates a singular innovation or represents a significant contribution to their field are recognised with Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise. Those who win the prizes will each receive a cash award equal to $50,000.

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